tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 22, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
put your basically directly on your chest, hold yourbaby, it's fine. >> they're fine right now? >> they're taking ap classes, they're typical teenagers, doing really well in school. they're at that stage, they're juniors. you have a daughter, you can relate. they're at that point they're figuring out, what happens next? >> love the story. thanks very much for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the blade runner runs free, at least for now. a judge hands down a decision in the bail hearing for oscar pistorius. uncovered. al qaeda's quick and easy guide to dodging u.s. drone strikes. another asteroid warning. look up, look out, and let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm tom foreman in for erin
burnett. "outfront" tonight, no guns, no alcohol, but no jail either. tonight the olympic blade runner oscar pistorius is free. >> i come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail. >> south africa's chief magistrate told the courtroom early this morning pistorius, accused of murdering his girlfriend, is not a flight risk and would not commit more violence if released from jail. and with that, pistorius met the requirements for bail which was set at about $112,000 u.s. pistorius is believed to be staying at his uncle's home. he's had to surrender his passports and guns. he must report to police twice a week and refrain from consuming alcohol. the pistorius family members shook hands after the decision and proclaimed oscar's innocence. >> we know oscar's version of
what happened. that tragic night. and we know that that is the truth. and that will prevail. >> but will that version of events add up when pistorius is back in court on june 4 the? "outfront" tonight, former prosecutor wendy murphy and criminal defense attorney anne bremner. ann, let me is you first, the defense in this case laid out a lot of what they wanted to talk about here. did their case sound so solid that he could be allowed to go out on bail? >> the defense -- the whole question of bail is whether or not he would flee or be danger if he's at large. it was a strong case or a weak case, that would mitigate against getting the bail. the judge found some probabilities in it and the lead detective in the case we know is charged with seven counts of attempted murder. that never happens. and that may have undermined a lot of the case and led to this release of oscar pistorius.
>> let's talk about the landscape here that was laid out by the defense in this case. oscar pistorius says this really was all about terrible essentially an accident that started in the early hours of valentine's day in his bedroom. he was asleep there with his girlfriend next to him. he says he got up and went out to the balcony to get a fan and to close the window and unbenancy pelosi to him, she got up and went to the best room. then he says when he came back in prothe balcony, that's when everything went wrong because he said he was sure that she was still in bed as he came inside. so look at it from his point of view. he basically says he didn't have his prosthetic legs on, low to the ground, the ram was very dark, he heard a noise and turned away from the bed where he believes his girlfriend is asleep. he gets his gun because he thinks there's an intruder. the gun comes from under the bed. he goes down that hallway. he sees an open window and thinks that's where the intruder came in, he hears a noise behind that door.
he starts shouting for reeva to protect herself, he starts shouting for the intruder to reveal himself, he starts shooting through that door. only when he comes back in to put on his prosthetic legs and lights up the house, he realizes she's not there, realizes there's been a terrible, terrible mistake. wendy, what's wrong with that story? sounds probable in some ways, improbable in others. >> how much time have you got? to me, it sounds like a comedy. his explanation is so ludicrous. by the way, even the judge said there are a lot of implausibilities here. i think he was being polite. it makes no sense. but it doesn't mean he can't make the allegation. the question is, will the forensics bear it out? so far, we don't know a lot. we do know the angle of the gun is reportedly such that he couldn't have been there without his prosthetic legs because it went down and toward a person sitting on the toilet, which is where she was -- >> wasn't that refuted somewhat
in court by the defense saying, and didn't the prosecution back off that some saying, we haven't established it all but that's what we believe? >> that's because they haven't yet had the expert do the careful measurements. but from what it looks like at this point in time, he wasn't walking around on his stumps, that doesn't appear to be the case. i know why he suggested that that was the truth, which i think won't bear out. he didn't want it to seem as though he was taking the time to put his prothettic devices on before he ran down the hallway to shoot, because that would have added to the argument in favor of deliberate premeditation and planning. but it's equally weird that he said he came back after shooting through the door, came back into his bedroom, notices that she's not in the bed, thinks to himself, oh my goodness, i may have just killed my beloved girlfriend, then sits down to put his legs on instead of calling 911 and running around on his stumps? that makes no sense at all.
and it's not just that it's not what an ordinary person would do. it's not a man worried about the fact that he may have just killed his girlfriend. >> okay, let me get anne in here. they don't have 911 in there. he had to call for help but they don't have a 911 service there. the prosecution side, ultimately the magistrate said even though he too, like wendy mentioned, had problems with the defense's explanation of what happened here. he also had problems with the prosecution's explanation. he said the prosecution did not establish such a strong case that pistorius has any reason to flee, he can fight these charges in court and may win. >> he said it's just circumstantial and he had a lot of problems with the evidence in the case. the fact of the matter is, even with these supposed downward shots the detective didn't say he saw that kind of angle, what the detective says is, i think they were downward shots. this judge took two hours to give his opinion. it's almost like the arguments in the leopold and loeb case
that went on for days. chapter and verse about the doubts of the case. the centerpiece was this particular detective. weren't using coverage for their shoes of the case, fumbled the evidence -- >> that is not true. >> untruthful about evidence -- >> that is not true. >> hold on, walk through what the prosecution is saying. they're saying there was no confusion, it was never dark in the room, the couple was standing in this room or the house having an argument, an argument so loud it could be heard hundreds of yards away, at some point indeed, reeva went into the restroom to get away from this, locked the door, cell phones there, maybe she was trying to call for help, in the event he did follow her down the mall with his gun but not because he thought there was an intruder but because he was angry, he went in, at some point he shot through the door with intent to kill her. now, let me ask you this, though. anne, you've been involved with
police who have been accused of having problems with investigation before, were you shocked at all when the magistrate said, you point out there are telephones there but you never check to see if she tried to call somebody? >> yeah, and you know, i defend mess all the time. everything i did just say is true. and the fact is that, look at the amanda knox case that prosecutor was indicted, tried and convicted from her case. when the message is from a messenger that has a problem, the case has a problem. the judge pointed that out. centerpiece of the case. they didn't need to have them respond that night and the case is serious. that's where a lot of the seeds of doubt are coming from. >> wendy, i can tell you want to jump in here. >> look, that's just wrong. the judge even said, although i think he did a far too lengthy analysis which suggests to me he knew he was wrong and he was trying to protest a bit too much. but the judge specifically said, the lead detective, although he's off the case and needs made some misups during his
testimony, nothing he said that was incorrect has anything to do with the strength of the prosecution's case. he went out of his way to say -- >> wendy, i a agree with you that he said that this is not the state's entire case, that there's more to it than just this one person. but certainly it doesn't help if you have a prosecutor who says, one of our ear witnesses, somebody who heard something, was 600 yards away, and then in the same testimony, you say, well, i guess it was more like 300 yards away, well, maybe it was closer than that. that suggests an investigation that has problems. >> no. i disagree. it only matters if you take a tiny bit of information and blow it out of proportion. look, the guy's popular. he's a hero. people love him. they feel bad for him because he doesn't have legs. i don't. if you can kill somebody without legs you should go to jail without your legs. i think he should not have been released today. the strength of this case is not going to be destroyed by a pr
machine that wants this guy to look innocent because we think we love him. you know, that is not justice. because we feel bad for him, he should get a pass? where is that -- there's no constitutional right to get a pass or to be let out of jail on bail when nobody else would have been released because we feel pad for you. we think you're great because you're an olympic hero who had hardships and you overcame them. we're seeing a story, not the truth. >> anne, jump in here. the simple truth is there is a presumption of innocence and to say on the flip side that that's the only reason he's going free, the magistrate, he spent an hour and a half trying to explain why that wasn't the only reason. >> right. well, exactly. in fact, this has been a lynch mob. this has been a press lynch mob. this has been a case like, this isn't true, we can't believe him, we don't believe him, we don't want to give him bail, et cetera. the reality is he has a right to a fair hearing and he got one. now the question is he has a right to a fair trial and he'll get one. >> anne and wendy, thank you
both for being here, i know this trial is going to go on for quite a long time. "outfront" next, is the sky really falling? washington is playing chicken little over the four spending cuts. turns out there's more to that strange story of that hotel where a woman's body was found in the water tank. how a very little guy has broken some very big hearts out in hollywood. and he'll probably strike again this weekend. stay with us. today is gonna be an important day for us.
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and this is what it's like getting a high-end hotel room for 45% off published prices... ... with travelocity's top secret hotels. ooo, tingly. our second story "outfront," the sky is falling. or it is if you believe everything that you hear out of washington. today again president obama rang the alarm bells on the four spending cuts that are set to take effect seven days from now. >> i've been very clear that these kinds of arbitrary automatic cuts would have an adverse impact on families, on teachers, on parents who are reliant on head start programs, on our military readiness, on mental health services on medical search. >> you heard a bit of it there, especially from democrats you're hearing we'll have trouble
fighting wildfires, airplanes, security lines will be long, all sorts of things. how much of that is true? how much of it is politics? how do we react to that? "outfront," daniel altman, economics professor at nyu, it political columnist for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." you listened to all this talk about all these dire implications, is it real or is it scare tactics? >> some of it is definitely real. if you look at the figures we're looking at maybe 70,000 kids getting kicked out of head start programs. we're looking at a $1.6 billion cut in funding for the national institutes of health which does research into life-saving medical procedures and drugs. it's going to be $1.1 trillion in cuts over a decade, we're looking at maybe 4% of the federal budget overall. that's serious. when you think about the unemployment rate, 7.9%, 92% of
people are employed, cut out 4% of the federal budget, that's going to have a big effect on the economy. >> the transportation secretary ray lahood spoke at the white house briefing today. all of you listen to this. >> there has to be some impact in order to save $1 billion. $1 billion is a lot of money. >> let's be clear, it's less than 2% of your budget -- >> it's a lot of money, jonathan. where i come from, which is central illinois, $1 billion is a lot of money. >> all right, john, jump in here. this is the tricky part, i think. $1 billion is a lot of money and i think daniel had a good point there. on the other hand, there are all sorts of businesses, all sorts of families, all sorts of states that have had to suck up bigger cuts and they haven't screamed that everything is falling apart at the hinges. is there political opportunism here? >> there's definitely political theater but this whole plan was supposed to be so stupid that it
would compel the two parties to come together. the grant bargain but the parties can't seem to come together. what you're hearing is the washington monument gambit. they highlight the most painful things that could possibly be cut, we're going to shut the washington monument that freaks people out, it makes the impacts seem exaggerated to folks at home. there is some theater to this, there's fearmongering to washington. but the fact that we're here and trying to get their attention, they come back from vacation and start doing something, is pathetic and outrageous. >> there is a political side to this, no matter what either party says. they are playing a lot of politics on this because they see an advantage here. the republicans look like they're very much on the losing side of that equation right now. look at this poll from pew research center, "usa today," who would you blame if spending cuts take effect, president obama, 31%. gop in congress, 49%.
how much do you think the gop will pay the price on that, or is it a temporary price they'll pay? >> well, the issue is, in poll effects what's really relevant is what happens in 2014. end of march we have the debate over the continuing resolution. what i think is happening now is that a lot of republicans are saying, you're right, these cuts are distributed in a way that's problematic. perhaps the president should have more authority over how those cuts are distributed. so for example, if a cut has to happen at the level of a tiny project or program or activity, then it's a lot harder to make cuts that are coherent than at the level of the entire pentagon. the more discretion you give the white house, the easier these cuts might go. so senator republicans of that said, we're willing to give you that discretion. house republicans are gearing up to pass legislation along those lines as well. the thing is that senate democrats are not going to go along with it and the president doesn't want to go along with it. if the president has that discretion to see to it those
cults don't have such disastrous effects then the president actually owns the cuts that he actually has to make. so partly there's a pass the buck dynamic going on here as well. >> let me jump through this quickly on one quick question. if, in fact, this does not -- the sequester comes through and the economy gets into trouble, next year we go to the midterm votes, do you think voters will look back and say, it was the republicans' fault? or do you think by then it will be the usual equation of, you're the party in charge, democrats, the economy's failing again, it's your fault, you pay? what do you think? >> i think the real fight is going to be over the continuing resolution. if there's a government shut-down, and if then there is an economic weakness, then i think it's very hard to tell. republicans might take a lot of blame for that. >> daniel, one quick question. if this happens, is it enough to push us substantially toward recession? >> i don't think it's going to be recession. but we could lose between
700,000 and 1 million jobs according to estimates published in "washington post" today. that is a big chunk out of the job creation that bewe're expecting, 25% of it. >> thanks so much for being here. this story's not going anywhere. the justice department says lance armstrong defrauded the government out of millions of dollars and they want it back. a top scientist says the earth is on a collision course with an asteroid equal to 20,000 atomic bombs. that would be a bad day. a monster winter storm is blanketing 20 states in snow. we'll have the first pictures.
our third story "outfront," suing lance armstrong. the justice department announced it's joining a lawsuit accusing the cyclist and former team managers of defrauding the federal government out of millions to finance the u.s. postal service cycling team, filed in 2010 by floyd landis. to the feds have a case? paul callan, how important is it that the feds are jumping in? >> this is very, very big. what it indicates is the federal
government, justice department, have faith there's a legitimate suit here. this false claims act was started in the civil war when the u.s. government was being defrauded by contractors and it said, basically, if you're a worker and you see fraud and you start a lawsuit, we're going to reward you with 15% to 30% of what you recover. this could be a huge lawsuit, $100 million lawsuit, a lot of money at stake for the government and floyd landis, armstrong's teammate. >> let me ask you about the law and math. here's a statement from armstrong's attorney. lance and his representatives worked constructively with federal lawyers to resolve this case fairly. those talks failed because we disagree whether the postal service was damaged. the postal service's own studies show the service benefited tremendously from sponsorship, we know the postal service put in about $31 million, so they're $70 million to the good. does that make a difference legally? >> it does. lance armstrong may have been foolish enough to be caught
blood doping but he's worth $100 million and he's hired a good lawyer. the defense is, although the u.s. postal service spent $30 million on the endorsement contract, they made $100 million. and the measure of damages is, how much money did the government lose? armstrong's lawyers are saying, you not only did not lose money, you made money on my crimes. so you have no basis for this lawsuit. that's what the negotiations are about. the government saying, you owe us a lot of money. they're saying, no, we might have done something wrong, but you've incurred no damages. >> all right, thanks so much. still "outfront," al qaeda has a guide to avoiding drone strikes by u.s. forces. and now we know what's in it. a hotel of horrors. a body found in the water tank is just one of the creepy stories that are now coming to light. from the ground up to be the world's best sport sedan... ♪
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through an earthquake but they found snow falling off the roof. wichita has found 14.2 inches over two days. many took advantage of the snowfall, like this dog in kansas city, missouri. karen blue and her 75-pound english bulldog, duke, went sledding, a lovely time had by all. for more go to cnn.com, track the latest winter weather. a lot of you are shoveling. u.s. military grounding its fleet of f-35 engine jets. because it's still in the developmental stage, winslow wheeler of the investigative nonprofit project on government oversight tells us we should expect more groundings. sadly, he says, this will probably mean the program is not canceled, it will keep going. he says the pentagon refuses to admit this thing is a failure. the pentagon says it's too early to assess the overall impact. a law that would require gun
owners to get liability insurance is gaining traction in several states. yesterday, connecticut governor dan malloy asked his sandy hook advisory council look into whether owners of firearms should be required to carry additional insurance. some believe this law would hamper second amendment rights, others believe it would prevent tragedies like sandy hook shootings. there are holes in the legislative language that could make it hard to decide exactly how much people should be charged and whether or not it would have that impact. a major development tonight that could halt the effort to bring peace to syria. that country's key opposition group has said that it's boyc t boycotting an important meeting in rome with the u.s. and other world powers. the goal to find a way to end the crisis in syria. a senior u.s. officials tells cnn the group had not notified the united states of its decision. foreign affairs reporter elise labatt is at the state department. the u.s. was caught off-guard by
this. how significant is this? >> symbolically, i think it's very significant. not only is this group months coming to rome, they were also invited to the white house sometime in march, trying to get a meeting together with possibly even president obama. and now what they're saying is, listen, you see what's going on in ahelp palehelp pa, our peopl being killed. they've been saying the international community is doing is really window dressing, and they can't keep talking about the day after when people are being killed on the ground and they want a much more robust response from the international community. so i think right now, the u.s. and its partners in this so-called friends of syria group have a little bit of egg on their face right now. >> so if this group does not get help from the u.s., then who are they going to turn to? >> well, there are some other countries outside of the u.s., particularly in the gulf, who are giving them arms and money. but right now, their biggest friend in the area, particularly
in syria, is this group al nusra, an extremist radical group, the u.s. and its allies say they have ties to aikd, believed responsible for a lot of the more violent attacks including this bombing on one of the syrian facilities. i think right now there's been all this concern, if we do more on the ground, it's going to just radical it's the population and bring them closer to these terrorist groups and maybe they would even get the weapons. that is really what's going to be happening. the longer that the international community does not do anything, it's going to further radical it's the population, tom. >> elise, thanks for bringing us up to date on this breaking news. pretty big development there. duck and cover. remember these public service announcements during the cold war, showing americans how to protect themselves during nuclear attack? a newly discovered secret al qaeda handbook offers duck and
cou cover tips for terrorists looking to avoid drones. >> reporter: don't use your wireless device. hide under thick trees. for al qaeda fighters on the battlefield, words literally to live by. those are among 22 tips from militants on how to avoid drone strikes. the associated press recently discovered a document with those suggestions in a building in mali where islamist militants are battling french forces. the document had also been posted on jihadist websites. >> evidence suggests the drone strikes have been psychologically traumatic to al qaeda, it's induced a high degree of paranoia in their ranks, they're fearful they've been infiltrated by spies. >> reporter: osama bin laden, shortly before his death, had written letters to other al qaeda leaders with similar suggestions saying their fighters shouldn't meet on roadways and move too much in their cars because many of them got targeted when meeting on the road. "move only when the clouds are
heavy." one of the tips, if you're in a car and you learn there's a drone after you, leave the vehicle immediately and all the passengers should scatter in different directions. another one, set up fake gatherings of people using dummies to throw the drones off the trail. similar tack kicks have been deployed in war time. the allies used inflatable tank and truck decoys to fool german aircraft in world war ii. other suggestions, use whatever technology you can to jam electronics. could these tactics work against drones? we asked a former top official at the national security agency who helped develop american drones. >> in general terms they're good for people in a desert environment who are trying to avoid drones. there are a lot of limitations to them. >> reporter: the advantage is still with the drone operators, he says. >> if they can differentiate between what's in a shadow, what's supposed to be in a shadow, what's not supposed to be in a shadow, natural light
conditions, then they have a good chance of being able to flush out the guerillas. >> brian, these seem sort of low tech and common sense. you think they work at all? >> some of the experts we spoke to say, actually, some of it is pretty practical and useful. one of the tips is use smoke as cover by burning tires. you can see the logic, it could throw a drone off rare off-course a bit. the tip they suggest you set up fake meetings using mannequins, experts say that could confuse a drone operator. a lot of it is obvious, if you're being tracked by a drone in your car, yeah you might want to leave the car. things like that. but as we spoke to colonel layton there in the piece, he said really, the advantage still remains with the drone operators overall. but some things could help them on the battlefield, especially in mali, where they're going to be under attack by the u.s. drones, the u.s. had just dep y
deployed troops and intelligence people to nearby niger and we're told they're going to be operating drones from there. a decomposing body found stewing in the main water supply of a california hotel. sound like things could not get worse for the cecil hotel in l.a. that's just one of several grisly incidents in the hotel's dark past. >> it's like not far. it's in downtown so it's close to the city and the price was good for us. >> reporter: that's why these check slovakian tourists booked at the cecil hotel, advertising itself as a beautiful, vintage, european-style hotel, catering to young international travelers from lisa lam from vancouver, canada. her body found in one of the hotel's four water towers that feeds into the hotel's taps. she may have been there for weeks. as hundreds of hotel guests unknowingly continued to drink and use the water. the hotel would not speak to cnn
despite repeated attempts. but this is the latest chapter in the hotel's dark storied history, says l.a. crime novelist and journalist denise hamilton. >> in so many ways the cecil is a metaphor for the city of los angeles and hollywood. it's all facade. it's all glitz on the outside and it's got this romantic, turbulent, sinister history. >> reporter: the hotel was built during the roaring '20s but crushed under the economic weight of the depression. in the 1940s, the black dahlia, elizabeth short, is rumored to have stayed here before she was killed and dismembered. in the '50s and '60s, a place where the desperate ended it all. >> they rented a room, went up to the room, jumped out the window. there was one woman who committed suicide and she ended up landing on a pedestrian who was walking by. and killed the pedestrian as well. >> reporter: the hotel's folklore grew. it served as a backdrop in tv
series like "beretta." as downtown l.a. descended into crime in the '80s, so did the guests. serial killer richard ramirez, the night stalker, who killed 13 as he lived on the 14th floor. serial killer jack unterweger, who killed prostitutes, some blocks away from the cecil. >> everyone comes with hopes and dreams and stars in their eyes. it's the noir side of the city. >> this is just such an odd, odd story. let me go to the most serious part of it right now. what else do we know about this 21-year-old woman who wound up dead there? >> we are learning a bit more about alisa lap. a student as recently as august at the university of british columbia. she wasn't currently enrolled there but the university says she was once a student. we also know you're post-college. she was halving. she had stopped in toronto in early december and stayed at a host hostel.
the people there say she was friendly, outgoing, talked to everyone there. they remember her as someone who was very warm. >> no clue yet as to how she wound up inside this tank? >> no, it's a mystery. lapd still trying to figure out exactly how that happened. the autopsy report is right now still ongoing. they have to wait for toxicology. remember, she was submerged in that water, tom, for potentially 2 1/2, 3 weeks. it's not going to be a simple cause of death determination. >> good gracious. you talked to that czech couple that was there. are people still checking in? i'm not trying to wreck on the cecil. are people still checking into this hotel? >> we've been there a few days. we are seeing a lot of the foot traffic, mainly international tourists, some of them don't speak english, almost none have seen american television. they don't find out about what happened until they get to the hotel. >> wow. and the public health department in l.a. has ordered the hotel to clear out this whole system.
how soon will it be before the water there is useable again? creepy question. >> it is. it's very distasteful. it does take several days to flush this whole system out. they say they're going to sanitize everything. remember, when the health department did do checks, they say there wasn't enough bacteria where the people who did ingest this water over that time, that they're at any risk. this wasn't any harmful bacteria but they still need to flush it out. it's going to take several days. >> strange, strange story. thanks so much. still "outfront," there is a major development in iran's ability to enrich uranium. in the meantime, mahmoud ahmadinejad posing with u.s. wrestlers. a warning an asteroid powerful enough to destroy nations is on a collision course with earth. is that true? i don't think so. stick around. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999.
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this could jeopardize negotiations to slow iran's nuclear weapons capability. a different story today in the sports arena of all places. >> reporter: at tehran's arena, under the gaze of iran's supreme leader, the showdown fans were waiting for. iran taking on the u.s. two countries whose governments are bitter rivals, locking horns in the wrestling world cup. the atmosphere is electric here. but here's what's remarkable. despite the fierce competition on the mat, there's no sign of bad blood between iranians and americans. and here's how you know. right after their own wrestlers, these iranian fans are cheering loudest for this man. american gold medal winner jordan burrows. >> it was pretty cool. every time i stepped out there,
once they see me, they're excited to see me, cheering my name, screaming my name. pretty cool. >> reporter: burrows dominates his match. but in the end, team iran is king. iran 6, u.s. 1. this was team usa's tenth visit to iran. each visit stirs speculation sport might help build bridges between the two countries. >> when we got here, they had their arms wide open to our wrestling program and to americans because theys. it's a better world with us together. >> if wrestlers can get together, anyone can get together. >> reporter: so far, the exception to that wrestler's rule has been washington and tehran. now let's check in with jake tapper in for anderson cooper about it a look at what's ahead on "ac 360." an emotional interview with kim martin, the cousin of reeva
steenkamp, the girlfriend shot by the blade runner oscar pistorius, of course. on the day that the magistrate granted pistorius bail, martin shares with me the question she is desperate to ask pistorius about what happened that night and why. plussen, tom, something much, much lighter on a friday night. i'm told by the staff that my dog winston will somehow be in the show tonight. we'll see how that happens. back to you. >> i'll stick around and find out too. thanks, jake. our fifth story "outfront," asteroid apocalypse. again? didn't we just do this? that was the warning today from physicist michio kaku who writes an asteroid powerful enough to destroy nations is on a collision course with earth. a much smaller one last week over russia. kaku says the nation-busting
asteroid headed our way won't arrive until 2036 but it could make a direct hit with 1,000 times more power. "outfront" tonight, bill nye, the science guy, and rusty swigert. my guess is both of you do not buy this. bill? >> yeah, it's going to miss. mi. it's named after the greek god of anxiety will come by 2029. then again in 2036. my understanding it's 1 in 100 million chance of hitting the earth. it will miss the earth. but it's a lesson to be learned, that's all. we know about that one. but there are about 100,000 more out there that we don't know about. and i remind you, what a crazy coincidence that the one over russia happened the night before
2012, another larger object came between us and our satellites. so we're going to get hit by an ost raid sooner or later. and the doctor was just trying to draw attention to that. but it's not our worry. instead we should be worrying about the other 99,999 of them. >> rusty, you have been out in space. one of your goals in all this is to say, in fact, we should get much more serious about finding those other ones out there and tracking them in some fashion. tell me about that. >> yeah, the fact of the matter is we have only found about 1% of the asteroids that cross the earth's orbit, what we call neither-earth asteroids that can do serious damage on earth if they hit. the other 99%, and by the way bill, it's really about a million objects, not 100,000 of them, and we don't know where they are.
and so what we're doing with our foundation which is a nonprofit, we're launching an infrared telescope that will launch into orbit and it will look at the earth and it will map all of these asteroids that can do serious harm that we don't know about yet. so our goal is to track, to discover and track the other 99% and give enough early warning to deflect them. >> you brought up the golden part here, which i'm fascinated about. bill, how do we deflect them? we all watch science fiction movies and imagine blasting them out of the why sky. >> there's three things and the doctor can give us this. there's a million earth-crossing asteroids? in other words, the problem is more serious than even 100,000. so here's the idea. if you can find the thing soon
enough, ten years, 20 years in advance, then you go out there and give it a little tug. we're talking about changing its speed a few millimeters a second. so the couple of ideas are you make a spacecraft massive enough that its own gravity can help change the velocity. the planetary society funded the guys in spain who found the asteroid that came so close last week. but before the b 6-12, we're going to fight the good fight and keep looking for these things. but then the other thing is we have this laser system. the laser b's, which might call it to change its speed. the worst case, you go out there and blow something up. but the easiest thing is to run
into it many years in advance. >> and the point is, if i understand it correctly, you don't have to change it a lot. if i had two specks coming together and they were all going to arrive at the same point in space at the right moment, all i have to do is slow down our speed up one just the slightest amount and it will miss. >> right. that's exactly right. what we do is we go up and essentially with technology we have available today, by the way. we don't have to go into a big developmenttested it, but we know how. we go up about 10 or 15 years before an impact and we slow down or e speed up the asteroid just enough so that 10 or 15 years later instead of being in the intersection when the earth is there and hitting it, it will go through the intersection before the earth gets there or it will let the earth go through the intersection and then the asteroid will do it. in other words, we screw up the
rendezvous by having just a few minutes change in the arrival time of the asteroid. >> all right, i got to jump out here. i'm glad we have you on the case. thanks for being here. we're just days away from the academy awards. why it doesn't matter if you win or lose, that's coming up next. as your life and career change, fidelity is there for your personal economy, helping you readjust your retirement plan along the way. rethink how you're invested. and refocus as your career moves forward.
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a night when stars congratulate themselves on films well done. a win can turn someone into a global superstar overnight. many of the biggest film stars have never bagged an oscar. marilyn monroe, james dean, richard burton, carey grant, unbelievable. even alfred hitchcock, none of them ever won a competitive oscar. they got later awards. more recently sigourney weaver, tom cruise, unbelievable. harrison ford, samuel l. jackson, and john malkovich failed to take home. none are